Many rock ‘n roll stars die too far young. Fortunately for us, that’s not the case with the legendary singer Willie Nelson. In his late 80s, he’s still performing live for audiences around the world. Now looking back on his earlier life and career, he’s recounted some of his wilder escapades, like smoking with Snoop Dogg in Amsterdam and lighting up at the White House with an unlikely friend.
Willie Nelson has no shortage of projects to work on, despite the fact that he’s turning 90 in 2023. Not only will he be having a truly spectacular birthday bash to celebrate, featuring stars like Neil Young and Tom Jones, but he’s still actively performing himself. In fact, in March 2023, he released his 98th studio album which is titled I Don’t Know a Thing About Love. As musicians typically do following a new release, Nelson will be going on tour.
The Outlaw Music Festival Tour will travel across the United States throughout the summer of 2023. Earlier in the year, the documentary Willie Nelson & Family also premiered. Overall, the early months of this year have been incredibly successful and busy, as he was nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. In the wake of these accomplishments, Nelson has been speaking to the press, giving them interesting details about his life.
Smoking with Snoop
One of these surprising facts is that Nelson found a longtime friend in another musical artist, Snoop Dogg. The rapper and the country singer bonded over their love of Mary Jane, even collaborating on the songs “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “My Medicine.” In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Nelson said of Snoop, “He’s a good friend (…) We just kind of liked each other right away.” The veteran artist was traveling to Amsterdam so he invited his new friend to come along.
Nelson’s concert fell on 4/20, a cause for celebration. Snoop said in an interview that they went back to Nelson’s room and started playing dominos while they smoked. Like a true pro, Nelson didn’t lighten up and Snoop went along with it because he didn’t “wanna show no signs of weakness.” He said that this was the highest he’s ever been in his life: “This old [dude’s] outsmoking me.”
Influencing the First Son
Nelson also talked to Yahoo about his late-night smoke sessions with another unlikely companion, Jimmy Carter‘s son, James Earl “Chip” Carter III. He had been invited to stay at the White House during the Carter administration, where he bonded with the president’s son in an unusual way. Nelson said that Chip came to get him from his room and took him up to the roof of the White House.
He said, “And then we had a joint, we burned it down, and then went downstairs and bowled.” Although he talked about this experience in his 1998 memoir, he said it was an anonymous staffer that joined him. It wasn’t until Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President was released that Carter himself confirmed, “It was actually one of my sons.” Nelson had kept it a secret because he didn’t want this revelation to “categorize [Chip] as a pot-smoker like him.”
As it turned out, the former president and Nelson became close friends. “Jimmy Carter is one of the best people that even came to the Earth,” said Nelson. “He has done so much good, and has tried to do good, every year that I’ve known him.”
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